Gaming Which Windows should I install?

Harsky

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Buying a new 1TB hard drive and a 4gb RAM but now I'm stuck with the choice of which OS I should install. I could use Windows XP Pro with SP3 but now I'm curious about the difference between Vista 32-bit and 64-bit. I know 64-bit will make the most of the RAM and should in theory make it more powerful but last time I tried it on my laptop, it seemed to have a lot of problems trying to run some of the programs I used. So is the 64-bit worth it?

Also, my current 2GB ram is a PC2-4200 and the new 4GB I ordered is a PC-6400. Even though combining the two should give me 6GB RAM, what are the problems of installing an older RAM with a lower spec with a newer RAM with a slightly higher spec?
 

Taza

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If you have two identical sticks both in dualchannel mode, no drawbacks.

32-bit windows can only utilize 3.2gb of RAM - 64-bit windows is compatible with next to nothing.

So until Windows comes with integrated WMs or all your programs support 64bit, stay with 32bit.
 

kai445

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I've used Windows XP x64, then Vista Ultimate x64, both with success. I've got drivers for everything I have, and all the games and apps I use run on both. No problems yet.

I have 4GB of RAM in my laptop and run Windows XP x64... I like the 64 bit versions because I can actually use all my RAM
smile.gif


32 bit software runs on 64 bit windows, but if it is a hassle for you (older hardware, no drivers.. or incompatible software), then it would be better to just stick to 32 bit.
 

Scorpei

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When you have 4 gigs of ram you're not really in the zone where you will loose much ram if you switch. Although 32 bits only uses 3 gigs of it it in itself also uses it better (the difference is simply not that big).

If you do want to go 64 bit for whatever reason, when I had XP 64 bit it was damn hard finding drivers but Vista has changed quite some bit of that. Most things can be easily found and are relativly stable. There are a few compat issues but not too many I've found. Most things run fine with Vista 64 bit.

AFAIK when you install your ram dual channel (ie 2 slower ones on 1 channel and 2 faster ones on the other channel and they are set in dual channel mode) there should indeed be no drawbacks as Taza sais. You could simply try it though to confirm
smile.gif
. I'm not sure if my motherboard supports/allows me to set different mem speeds for the two channels, you could/should check yours can.
 

Foxle

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There are a few strange issues with x64, like Microsoft OneNote's virtual printer not working, or Google Chrome previously having crashed on XP's 64 bit version. These issues are few and far between, but there are a lot of people who are bitter out there because a feature that they rely on does not work. For the most part 64 bit versions of Windows are perfectly fine and worth the extra ram.

As long as you're running on a nice modern machine (Core 2 Duo, etc), you should be fine as far as Vista vs. XP goes. Vista -is- actually better once you get used to it, it's just irritating at first because they moved all the settings n' such around. That and UAC...

As far as which version I recommend? I'm running Windows 7 when I'm not on my Mac or booted into Ubuntu ;P
 

Takrin

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vista 64 has gotten alot better since start, i rarely have problems finding drivers did have problems with 64bit codecs in the beginning but pretty easy now that more people use x64. it does have some bugs still like ie and media player crappin out but usually caused by 3rd party junk. check your hardware website for 64 bit drivers if there is some then try it out.

i also did have a hard time with windows xp x64 drivers even tried to install vista x64 drivers and failed.

also on ram the worse case senario is that your 6400 runs at 4200 speed if in dual channel mode
 

Scorpei

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Worst case of his ram would be it running at 4200 speeds and then single channel mode
smile.gif
. One of the benefits of the whole dual channel approach should be that you can have 1 channel slower then the other aside of course from getting double the 'speed'.

BTW, what is the fastest speed your motherboard supports Harsky? In all fairness I'd ditch the two slower modules and go with x86 32bit.
 

Harsky

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Well, thankfully my 1TB drive arrived as well as my 4gb RAM but when I placed the ram into my PC, it turns on then starts freaking out and makes beeping noises. Then I realised I made a stupid and expensive mistake. I haven't checked to see if my motherboard is capable of running 4gb so I'm stuck back on the old 2gb ram and the 4gb ram just sitting in it's packet in a cupboard. Now a new motherboard is something I'll have to think about buying sometime this year but the problem is that I have no idea what type to get. If it helps, this was the RAM I bought all because it was on sale:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct....rodid=MY-086-OC
 

Scorpei

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From what I can see that quickly (you've got yourself an obscure board there
tongue.gif
) it SHOULD be able to handle at least the 4 gigs at 400MHz.
The internetz tells me that gigabyte doesn't even know your board but that it IS around there somewhere (googling the name gives me a few results in compaq machines, all stating 4 gigs should work btw?).

But eum, for as far as I can see you board only has 2 ram slots (aka no way to combine old and new
tongue.gif
)....?

What processor do you have btw?
 

Harsky

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Scorpei said:
From what I can see that quickly (you've got yourself an obscure board there
tongue.gif
) it SHOULD be able to handle at least the 4 gigs at 400MHz.

But eum, for as far as I can see you board only has 2 ram slots....?
According to this:

http://support.packardbell.com/uk/item/ind...;ppn=PB34316801
QUOTESystem Memory

* DDR2 400 / DDR2533 / DDR2 667, 2 banks
* Support for up to 4 GB system memory

But the 2X2GB ram says is a 800MHz DDR2 . Something tells me I'm probably doing the equivalent of placing an airplane engine into a mini car where my board can't handle it as it still freaks out when I put it in.
 

zidane_genome

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Either go with XP, XP64, or a beta of Win7

Stay away from Vista... if I hear of you going to Vista, I will come to your house, and force your mother to perform fellatio on the family dog!!!
 

Scorpei

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@zidane_genome: run along now, eventhough you did answer his original question....
@Harsky: A little lesson in DDR2
smile.gif
. DDR (as the name implies; double data rate) uses a technology that effectivly doubles the memory bandwith (taking 2 modules and considering them as one) when in dual channel mode.

So if the original speed is say 200MHz, when you set in dual channel it runs at a theoretical 400. Same goes for 400MHz --> 800MHz. There is another name thing btw which uses other numbers (for example PC5300), wikipedia explains that pretty well
smile.gif
.

Aanyway, a nice test would be to put in 1 bank of your old ram and the new ram. That way you should force the new ram to run on 266MHz (PC4200). If it runs then that's nice, you know that the new bank isn't totally fried or anything
smile.gif
. Anyway, the new ram SHOULD work on 400MHz in your board too apparently.

That is btw NOT a setup you should use, as that would be slower then your current setup (because it runs in single channel mode, assuming your board supports dual channel of course). Anyway if it works with the 1 new module as suggested above, you could try JUST that new module. That should then run at 400MHz (check in your BIOS). If it does you know your board at least supports 400MHz.

If the module turns out to be defective try the other one and start RMA-ing
smile.gif
. Anyway if both modules work together with 1 of your old banks but not alone you could at least run both of the new modules at 266MHz (PC4200) if you'd want to giving you an extra gig (or 2) of RAM. That is of course if you can set that in your BIOS.
 

Scorpei

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To test the new ram to the fullest you should run memtest86, but that takes quite long so I'd only do that if you think the modules might really be defective. It can be run from windows or via boot floppy/*

Ow, and NEVER scare me again like that
tongue.gif
. In your FP you state you bought DDR1 memory (PC-6400
tongue.gif
?) but later you link to DDR2 (which is also way more logical considering the speed). Now if you genuinly bought DDR1 and forced that into your machine somehow that I could see why it started beeping
tongue.gif
.
 

Harsky

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Scorpei said:
@zidane_genome: run along now, eventhough you did answer his original question....
@Harsky: A little lesson in DDR2
smile.gif
. DDR (as the name implies; double data rate) uses a technology that effectivly doubles the memory bandwith (taking 2 modules and considering them as one) when in dual channel mode.

So if the original speed is say 200MHz, when you set in dual channel it runs at a theoretical 400. Same goes for 400MHz --> 800MHz. There is another name thing btw which uses other numbers (for example PC5300), wikipedia explains that pretty well
smile.gif
.

Aanyway, a nice test would be to put in 1 bank of your old ram and the new ram. That way you should force the new ram to run on 333MHz (PC4200?). If it runs then that's nice, you know that the new bank isn't totally fried or anything
smile.gif
. Anyway, the new ram SHOULD work on 400MHz in your board too apparently.

That is btw NOT a setup you should use, as that would be slower then your current setup (because it runs in single channel mode, assuming your board supports dual channel of course). Anyway if it works with the 1 new module as suggested above, you could try JUST that new module. That should then run at 400MHz (check in your BIOS). If it does you know your board at least supports 400MHz.

If the module turns out to be defective try the other one and start RMA-ing
smile.gif
. Anyway if both modules work together with 1 of your old banks but not alone you could run both of the new modules at 333MHz (PC4200) if you'd want to giving you an extra gig (or 2) of RAM. That is of course if you can set that in your BIOS.
Well, I upgraded the motherboard bios and tried running one of the old PC4200 1GB ram in conjunction with the new PC6400 2GB ram. It manages to boot... then get stuck at the opening bios splash screen. Unfortunately only using ONE of the new stick still causes it to beep furiously and not go any further.
 
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